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Clint Engel

Bacon's off to good start at new Sarasota location, plans to open patio store

The new Bacon's Furniture & Design, located in the former Robb & Stucky showroom in Sarasota, Fla., is off to a good start, and the retailer is now preparing to open a complementary patio store across the street.

BaconLynn Bacon and Bill Bacon, center, Bacon’s Furniture, Port Charlotte, Fla., cut the ribbon on the 68,000-square-foot Bacon’s Furniture & Design in Sarasota, Fla.
The two-story 68,000-square-foot showroom on South Tamiami Trail grand opened earlier this month after a soft opening two months ago, and if business continues at the current pace, "we're headed toward a $12 million store" in annual sales, said Bill Bacon, president of the Port Charlotte, Fla.-based upscale retailer.

With the opening, Bacon's closed its neighboring 14,500-square-foot Thomasville store and a 20,000-square-foot Drexel Heritage store. It has a contract to sell the Drexel location and will convert the Thomasville site - across the street from the new store - to a Bacon's Outdoor Living showroom early next month.

Bacon's, which also operates a 100,000-square-foot store in Port Charlotte, has carried some outdoor furniture, but "not enough to be important in the category," Bacon said. With its new, larger designer-oriented store in the Sarasota market, a lot of consumers have been asking for casual outdoor products, and Bacon wants to provide a better selection.

In September, the company attended the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago to pick out its starting lineup. Key suppliers will include Summer Classics, Ebel, Tropitone, Winston, Pride Family Brands, Lane Venture, Windward Design Group and Suncoast.

"We'll be the largest outdoor store in Sarasota," Bacon said.

The retailer has hired Ken Garofalo to lead the new store. Garofalo has 15 years of outdoor experience, most recently with the now closed Patio America and before that, with Leaders Casual.

The former Fort Myers, Fla.-based Robb & Stucky filed for bankruptcy in February and subsequently liquidated all of its stores in Florida, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Bacon's secured the Sarasota lease in June and moved quickly to open its own full-line store.

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